When to keep your mouth shut

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“Strip” Joint

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Strip Joint

I have met so many women who still feel tied to their past.  I can sympathize with them because I used to be the same way.  However, I have discovered freedom from those old patterns of thinking.

To find that freedom, I had to turn my heart into a “strip joint.”  I have developed an acrostic to help us remember the steps to stripping our minds of those old, useless thoughts.

S=Stop believing you are that old person. (Romans 6:6-7)
T=Tell yourself that you are a new creation. (II Corinthians 5:17)
R=Rip off old garments and refuse to listen to Satan’s lies. (Ephesians 4:22; John 8:44;
Colossians 3:8-10)
I=Invest in your spiritual life.  Many people will spend a fortune to invest in the latest   diet fads or fitness program, yet they won’t spend any money on something to nourish their soul. (Psalm 1:2; 119:15,78,97)
P=Prayerfully seek friendships that will encourage you to grow in your walk. (Proverbs 27:17)

Do you need to turn your heart into a “strip joint”?
© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

Spiritually Used

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Spiritually Used

It is a noble thing for a woman to desire to model Titus 2:3-5.  However, because a woman has a passion to minister to other women, she can easily fall prey to the tactics of a user.  Women who are timid find it difficult to say “no” to a user.  Women with strong personalities often find pleasure in being asked to share their opinions.

I met a lady whom I will call Betty.  We hit it off very well, seeming to share the same values.  We forged a friendship, attending some of the same classes, and even visiting each other on occasion.

I began to notice a pattern to our conversations.  They seemed to revolve around the happenings in her life.  She was constantly seeking my advice.  When I would respond with scripture, she would quickly affirm my insights with comments like, “Oh, that is good,” or “I never thought of it like that.”  Because I thrive on words of affirmation, I never seemed to notice that she rarely brought scripture into our conversations.

Several months later, Betty was faced with a difficult dilemma.  Because of my desire to help women, I spent a great deal of time counseling her with a scriptural approach to her situation.  A few times I even left messages for her, stating that I had some more information which she may find helpful.  Those calls were always quickly returned.  Yet on other occasions, she would rarely, if ever, return my calls.

One evening, I was quite stressed and in despair over a situation of my own.  I knew Betty had faced this very circumstance, so I decided to call her.  I left a message for her, leaving no doubt as to my frame of mind.  I knew I could count on her to help me.  After all, Betty was my friend.  However, she never returned my phone call.

As I pondered and prayed about this, I realized that I was not being unreasonable in feeling that I deserved a return phone call, for true friends are kind to each other. (Job 6:14)

I also came upon the realization that some people are only friends with us if we give them gifts. (Proverbs 19:6) I had poured myself into Betty’s life, yet was not getting anything in return.  I discerned that what Betty was doing was using me.  She was seeking the spiritual food which I had earnestly sought so she would not have to be diligent in the Word herself.

By trying to be a Titus 2 woman, I had ended up becoming spiritually used, allowing her to use up my time, my energy, and my spiritual food.

The Word tells us that faithful friendships are refreshing. (Proverbs 27:9) A true friend sticks by you in good times and bad times. (Proverbs 17:17; 18:24)  Real friends are like iron sharpening iron. (Proverbs 27:17)  If you cannot say this is true of your friendships, perhaps you have also been spiritually used.

Take some time to evaluate your friendships.  Have you been spiritually used?

© 2007, Stacy R. Miller

About Me

I am a home school mom of an “only” who will be graduating in 2014. I was blessed to be a SAHM mom for the first thirteen years of her life. During that time, the Lord began to really do a work in me. I read nearly everything Elizabeth George wrote, and consider her a great mentor to me, even if I have never met her. Her books were truly life-changers for me in how I viewed my role as a wife, mother, woman of God. It was during that time that I began to really devour the book of Proverbs, and especially Proverbs 31. I began to have a passion arise within me to encourage other women in our journey through life. Through that passion, the Lord has enabled me to use my own life-lessons and turn them to devotional form.

 

After being a SAHM for thirteen years, my husband’s business was drastically hit by the economic crunch. Since I had learned over the last several years that I am to be help-meet to him, I knew it was time for me to reenter the workforce. I am very thankful that I was able to find a job that I really enjoy at a local hospital.

 

Through this journey, we’ve discovered that while home schooling during high school years with mom working outside the home isn’t easy, it IS possible. We’ve had to make a lot of adjustments and allowances to make it work, but it has been worth every bit of effort.

 

My hubby and I just celebrated 25 years of marriage in May 2013.  We had a few years where we really struggled in our marriage.  However, after much prayer and stick-to-it-iveness, I can honestly say that we are happily married, and that we act like newlyweds.  Just ask my daughter, who is constantly saying, “Take it to the bedroom,” whenever she sees out our outward forms of expression toward each other.

As you visit my blog, I hope you find encouragement, hope, refreshment, and inspiration.  If you do, then I give the honor to Jesus. It is for His glory that I set up this blog.  His Name be praised!